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Negotiations still underway on Fair Work Bill

The Australian Greens will be pursuing significant amendments to the Government's Fair Work Bill as negotiations continue in the Senate.

"Following our meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Gillard yesterday, I am today writing to the Minister, detailing the Greens position and proposals on this Bill," said Australian Greens industrial relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The negotiations over the Fair Work Bill will be a difficult process for the Government, and Minister Gillard is very aware that she needs to keep all the cross-bench Senators happy."

"The Greens will not support any changes to the Bill that take away workers' rights."

"The Government should not rely on the Greens' unwavering support on this Bill - we have concerns over several aspects of the Government's approach and will be seeking amendments to better protect employees."

"The Government say they have a mandate to rip up Work Choices - they are not alone. The Greens went to the last election vowing to restore fairness to the workplace, and that is what we are pushing for," said Senator Siewert.

The Greens have several key amendments proposed for the Fair Work Bill, including;

  • providing Fair Work Australia with broader powers to resolve workplace disputes;
  • allowing employees and employers to bargain over any matters agreed upon by both parties;
  • ensure unfair dismissal protections are accessible to all workers fairly;
  • provide further protections for Individual Flexibility Arrangements so they cannot be used to exploit workers like Australian Workplace Agreements were used;
  • urge the government to submit the legislation to the International Labour Organisation for advice as to whether it meets Australia's international obligations;
  • provide Fair Work Australia (FWA) with the power to prohibit employees being made redundant where FWA considers executives are being excessively remunerated;
  • 26-week, government-funded paid leave scheme for both mothers and fathers;
  • Funding for employment law services.
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